{The Nest Writes} Why I let my daughter watch the news

The world has been quite senseless lately and as an adult I have days where I really am struggling to understand the whys. Having said that, I still find myself aching to know what is happening around the world and who it is affecting.

I have heard that a lot of people are stopping their children from being exposed to the news. That people are blanket banning news from their homes and in particular the eyes and ears of their children.

I am the opposite, don’t get me wrong I don’t sit on the lounge with my six year old and make her watch the graphic London footage, but it is on in the background. Her father and I continue to have conversations about events like those that are shaping our world.

My daughter understands that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that you can’t live your life in fear. She recognises that there are extreme people who don’t represent all people and they choose to do nasty things.

Just last night I had a discussion with her about different faiths and how you can’t simply categorise all people into the same basket. The conversation started because she had heard the term “All Muslims are terrorists”.

We spoke about how the Islamic faith is actually one of the most peaceful religions in the world, but that some people choose to interpret it entirely differently. Much like how some people can choose to read the Catholic bible differently to most.

A six year old has blind faith and she doesn’t see a reason to discriminate or judge others and that is the exact reason why I think it is important for her to see what is happening in the world. I don’t want her to hear parts of news, jokes or judgments from small minded people and think that’s how we should all feel.

I have zero psychological qualifications and to be honest am probably breaking some cardinal rule that I am not aware of but if I engulf her with protection now and ban all news reporting and coverage then how does she build her own impression of the world? airport copy

There are some really horrible things that happen in the world but I can’t change those things. What I can do instead, is to start a conversation with her.

We heard on the news a few weeks ago about a baby that had been abandoned by his mother, so that started a brief conversation about mental health and depression and the importance of watching those around us for signs.

We saw another story about a 13 year old who had reportedly been approached on the way to school by a strange man. So this time we were able to discuss the importance of stranger danger and being aware of our surroundings.

On the news we saw Prince Harry and his involvement in the Invictus Games. So that started a conversation about wounded war veterans and the support they might need when they return home.

We watched an article about childhood obesity rising in Australia so we were able to discuss ‘sometimes foods’ and the importance of exercise.

My greatest fear is that if I protect her too strongly one day she will realise what a lie she has been told. I think it is really important not to raise a naïve little person who does not see the difference between good and evil, and as unfortunate as what it is, if she doesn’t also see bad she won’t be able to appreciate the endless good that also exists.

I want my children to ask questions, I need them to want to justify things that are completely unjustifiable. The reason for this is so they can understand just how unfair the world can be. I don’t want her to grow up believing that everything will go her way because sometimes life doesn’t discriminate the goodies from the baddies but regardless you still have to stay a goodie.

I truly believe that anything that starts a conversation is good, she needs to feel free to approach me about things she hears or how it affects the world around her. Turning off the news only shelters them for a little while and isn’t it better to let them learn coping skills instead?

I would love to hear your opinions, maybe I am completely off-field but in a world that is changing and evolving ever so quickly it’s nice to have an open discussion already on foot about all types of topics with the youngest minds around us.

 

{Parenting} Post natal neglect

Could this be the case? Could it be true that post natal depression is neglect?

I certainly believe this is probably the case.

This article, Post partum depression by Claudia Gold MD is certainly worth reading.

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Maybe it is society who needs to be diagnosed?

What do you think?

{Raising Little People} To the Thirtysomething Mums

I love mamas that speak the truth, they say what I am thinking but sometimes can’t quite find the words for. This article by Littles Love and Sunshine articulates perfectly the moment I am in.

This article is wonderfully accurate. thirtysomething

To the Thirtysomething Mums

Happy reading nesters x

{Raising Little People} What if you find yourself accidentally raising the schoolyard bully?

Raising kids is fucking tough. The little humans need your guidance and care and everyone wants what is best for their little ones, but what happens when you discover that you might just be raising the schoolyard bully?

That is smack bang where Leslie Blanchard  found herself.bully

She has written a wonderful piece on Huffington Post on finding herself Accidentally raising the school yard bully

Read this. Share it.

{The Nest Opinion} Why is returning to full time work after kids such a WHY idea?

Today one of our gorgeous Nesters, Viv Williams discusses the motherly guilt that accompanies the decision to go back to full time work after children… line4

So I made a choice towards the end of last year. Its been controversial, frightening and downright exhausting. But you know what, I’m happy.

I decided to return to full time work.

It’s actually quite crazy the dialogue this statement starts up, even now, when I type the words. “WHY?”;Oh I never want to be full time” “But how will your kids cope, they’re so little” “If this is your last baby, you won’t ever get this time off again” The thing that’s most alarming in that whole diatribe of questions is that few, if any, people actually said “Good for you”. I mean, let’s be honest here, it’s not like my choice is remarkable – but why is it still portrayed that way? Why in the 21st century is my desire as a woman, to have a career and goals outside my family such a WHY idea? Back to work

When I announced over dinner one night that I had decided to return to full time work (without any indication prior to this that id been considering it), the greatest fear for both my husband and my children in returning to full time work (that they verbalised) was “We just don’t want you to be cranky”. WOAH – had I been so miserable working prior to this, that full time work was to be feared? Well, yes. I’ve found my job as a teacher so difficult in so many ways over the years that I too wonder how I managed to get this far.

So I spent another month considering the decision. Was this desire to return to work so much about me I’d forgotten to consider the fall out? Or was I finally happy in my career choice, in the daily challenge? I spent a lot of time soul searching and considering what it was that elicited the ‘cranky’ in me. I spent so many days feeling inadequate and unable to make a decision that the ‘cranky’ showed up. I know this, because my Mr 7 mumbled under his breath on walking away from an instruction “She’s not even working today”. I just stood there, dumbfounded. What a light in the dark. The ‘cranky’ had nothing to do with working, and everything to do with how I felt about MYSELF!

So I’m back at work full time. As a supervisor told me “It will be both challenging and rewarding” and that statement is the definition of my life. Every day is a challenge and every day ends with the reward of three amazing little people, becoming more amazing under the guidance of their educators.

The greatest truth I’ve had to accept across this term (because my whole life revolves around school terms) is that I can’t be everywhere, and I cannot be 100% at work or at home. Its okay to admit that I am not a Supermum (a term I incidentally HATE because there’s nothing super about falling asleep without eating dinner or missing that your kid is feeling unhappy; it’s just LIFE). And honestly, that’s the thing – I am an awesome Mum (Thanks Miss 11), My Husband loves me (even though the last time we had a conversation not about the kids/work was a month ago) and my students are succeeding.

Ultimately, the decision was about what I needed and wanted, and about the love for my role as an educator. Roll the internal monologue – “Isn’t that kind of selfish”. NO!!!!

I made a decision about the way I can best support my family, by proving my advice to my kids on a daily basis – be the best version of YOU that you can be EVERY DAY; and for me, that’s being a working mum.

Viv is a fiercely independent woman who

Thanks Viv, your insight into this topic is brilliant, thanks for sharing with The Central Nest x

 

{The Nest Writes} No one told me how much I would miss her

My oldest child started big school this year and while she is loving it and fitting in well, no one told me just how much I would miss her.

I think I spent so much time getting ready for the big milestone, buying uniforms, arranging a lunch box and preparing for the first day that I didn’t really stop to think about what my new life without her by my side would be like.

I miss her. Every single day. anni bw

I miss our lunches together. I miss the endless questions. I miss the random declarations of love. I miss chasing the dog and going to the park. I miss taking her to the pool or grabbing a milkshake. I miss the freedom to do a day trip.

What I have realised is that now she belongs to someone else. Between 9 and 3 every day she has to be with someone else and that is really strange.

For five years we spent each and every day exploring the world together. Some days were great adventures, other days were nothing more than snuggles on the couch and cartoons, but they were often the best days.

I know its not just me, her sister misses her madly. She has not known a world without her sister in it every day. She is lost and bored trying to learn how to entertain herself.

I miss hearing her ‘play’ voice, her bossy voice, her laugh.

I have to be honest, I also miss the extra set of hands to help with the baby.

I miss baking together, visiting daddy at work or drawing. I miss our long walks, our trampoline battles and random dance-offs.

Each afternoon she comes home filled with information and stories about what she has learnt that day and what new adventures she has completed. Without me. She is out exploring this big world without her mummy.

I just wish I had known how much I would miss her.

So while I say go forth my little girl into the world for all to see, just remember mummy will always be here at home waiting for you.

{The Nest Writes} To my darling Kindergartener

To my darling little kindergartener,

I swear it was only yesterday that you came into my life, you were so little and fragile. What an extraordinary little person you have become. You are a fiercely independent little girl and words will never explain how incredibly honoured I am to have you in my life.

In a few short days you will brush your golden hair, tie your shoes, put on your uniform and start kindergarten. Very soon the little world that you and I have created will forever change. This is a new chapter in your life and while I know you are ready to fly out from our little nest there are a few things I would like you to know.

I want so much for you, there are the obvious things, like an education, I know it can be boring but it truly opens up a new world for you. Read. Write. Explore. A whole new world is available to you in the words of books, the colours of art and the sounds of music.

Set goals and don’t limit yourself baby, there is nothing you can’t do and no career that you can’t have. Honey, there are no confines for your imagination. Remember to work hard. Be determined and strive passionately towards what you want.  

 Be brave little one. Change is scary, but also needed. Even if I could keep you under my wing for always, I know I need to step back, let go and let the world see you.

All I ask is that you be brave, that you learn with enthusiasm and try to make good friends. I ask that you be kind and trustworthy, be the type of friend that treats people right. Remember though, not everyone will be nice. Some people are negative, but my darling, this is not a reflection of you, this instead demonstrates their own insecurities. Stand on your own two feet and know who you are and under no circumstances drop to their level.

I want you to stay independent, be courageous and have conviction in your own decisions. No one else in the entire world is the same as you, and although that’s scary it is truly a wonderful thing.Andy_Charlotte_185

Stay funny, life is not that serious, you only get one chance at it so you might as well smile along the way.

Pay attention and stay focused, but sweetheart, also remember to laugh and enjoy this experience.

Remember you don’t need to be the best at everything, but please baby girl, give everything your best go. 

You are divine darling and I am equally torn between the pride of the incredibly beautiful little lady you are becoming and desperately reminiscing about my little baby. I see though, that the world is a much better place with you growing in it.

So, if you see mama wipe a tear on your first day, I promise you that this is only because of the overwhelming pride I feel towards you and how much I realise I am letting you go for all the world to see.

Stay you honey, stay fearless, stay independent. Stay loyal.

Just know sweetheart, your daddy and I are here for you always. You might be heading out into the world, but to us, you really are our world.

So darling, I dare you to be yourself. Go little girl and discover your very own place in the world.

I love you for always.

Mummy.